How does one dust off a blog site and fire it up again? Inspired by the Chinese Year of the Snake, I suppose one could wriggle out of the old skin with the new epidermal layer ready for business: a radical yet commonplace act of rejuvenation.
In the months since the last blog, I’ve asked myself, “What is the point of writing?”
The answer that seems most true is that writing is a way to think aloud about an image or idea. I have found that when I don’t sit down to explore and write about a character, image, or phrase, they start to gather and linger outside my door, demanding my attention when I try to go about my business. “Hey lady, can I talk to you for a minute?” The crow that perches itself on the garage roof cawing at my window for days. The image of a young girl delivering newspapers in the almost-dawn hours, her breath and her vulnerable self hovering just before her as she walks down the road. They wait like ghosts and I can’t get past them.
These images become a worry stone in my pocket that I fuss over. I don’t get very far, because my mind fusses over what it knows, again and again. When I sit to write it out, I find the nuance, the “catch” at the heart of the thing. The writing gives me space to approach, examine, and pause.
This blog was the brain child of my friend Donna. She, Michael and I were having dinner (a horrible dinner) on New Years Eve 2012, when we all agreed to start blogging. One blog emerged from the agreement, this one. Since then Donna has cajoled, encouraged, pushed and prodded me on, not even content when I was writing semi regularly. “More,” she said. “Write more.”
As Ann Lamott said about writing in a recent-ish article in salon.com, “…just do it. No one cares if you write or not, so you have to.”